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The Justice & Peace eWeekly is a weekly survey of upcoming events, local news and activism opportunities. Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might be interested.

 


Week of March 16, 2020


 

PPJPC Board Meets with Nicaraguan Prisoner of Conscience

Coppens Describes Two Years of Arbitrary Arrests Under Ortega Regime

The PPJPC does not often get requests to meet with the World Affairs Council, the local group that works with such establishment institutions as Council on Foreign Relations. But a Nicaraguan student protester and former prisoner, Amaya Coppens, asked specifically to meet with the commission when she was in town to speak after receiving an award from the U.S. State Department, the International Women of Courage award. This award was launched by Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and under Mike Pompeo has tended to go to women from the State Department’s list of “bad actor” nations: an award to a Kazakh woman for investigating China’s detainment camps for Uighurs, as well as women challenging the Asad regime in Syria and Evo Morales’ ill-fated presidency in Bolivia.

Coppens made her case well in a meeting last week, describing government acts of crushing protest from the days of the 19th April University Movement of 2018, up to recent crackdowns in early March of this year. Particularly telling was the disruption of the funeral of Ernesto Cardenal, the priest and poet who was a hero of the 1979 Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. Cardenal had soured on the FSLN ruling party long before his death March 1, and his funeral was disrupted by violent thugs shouting “Traitor!” who beat up journalists. A March 8 feminist gathering was similarly harassed, and members of the country’s civil rights group were beaten by uniformed police. Coppens showed videos of the two recent events. She said that members of the 2018 movement have faced continued re-arrests and detention without charges – she herself spent 11 months in prison without learning of any charges. Her ability to go back to Nicaragua seems questionable, particularly after receiving the award.

The integrity of the student movement has been challenged by U.S. Methodist missionary Nan McCurdy, who claims the student movement itself has been violent. However, several U.S.-based Central American activists say McCurdy is among many progressives who have remained close to Ortega and his wife, even as the couple have drifted closer and closer to the right wing of the Catholic Church. In the final analysis, many U.S. progressives are reticent to admit that authoritarian rule and the destruction of the rule of law are universally popular in the 21st century, among both conservative and socialist governments. The best strategy is to remain skeptical of all organized governments, particularly those that have armed military and law enforcement wings.
 

Moms Demand Action Plans March 29 Get-Together (Quarantine Permitting)



Monthly Meet Up March 29, 2- 4 PM, Monument Library, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Drive, 80132

We will take action in the meeting to support 2 new pieces of statewide legislation 1.) Secure Storage of Guns 2.) Reporting of lost and stolen guns.  Also, experienced sport shooter Katie Barrett will share about the vocabulary and the cultures of firearms. This is intended as a safe space to ask questions and learn about guns and common sense gun laws.
RSVP HERE:




 
 

Peak Environment Podcast 56 Focuses on Wolves

Podcast 56 was created in conjunction with Pikes Peak Area Sierra Club, to examine the necessity of wolves in the Colorado ecosystem. Colorado needs Wolves – not merely to restore a natural balance or the wildness that we all seek – though wolves will do that if they are present for long enough, in sufficient numbers and with wide enough distribution  – but also to ensure that we pass on a Colorado intact, with a complete suite of native wildlife, to enrich future generations.

The latest podcast is at:
http://studio809radio.com/peak-env-56-co-needs-wolves/

Also check out Podcast 55 on tiny houses. Big things are happening for tiny homes in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs Principal Planner Lonna Thelan fills us in on how city planning and zoning issues affect tiny home locations, and Shelley Jensen, founder, CEO and chief community strategist of We Fortify, shares details of her first development, Working Fusion at Mill Street.

Podcast 55 is at:
http://studio809radio.com/peak-environment-55-tiny-homes/

 

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A Note on Progressive Events and Social Quarantining

PPJPC strives to keep an accurate calendar in eWeekly for progressive events, but the widespread local and global restriction on even moderate gatherings in the wake of the Covid-19 virus makes this next to impossible. Most events through the remainder of March are limited to small get-togethers. The April 5 Dorothy Day movie we listed last week has been POSTPONED until summer or fall. A planned April art event for RAWtools at The Carter Payne has been pushed to May or June, and the Showing Up for Racial Justice Book Club won’t have its next meeting until May 14. It helps to remember that quarantines could extend through May or into the summer. Contact the groups cited in any particular notice here, and make sure the event has not been canceled.

 

Drake Opponents Plan Final Online Survey in April

The Beyond Coal project of Sierra Club, in association with several groups opposed to Drake Power Plant, plans several survey and lobbying events in April in a final push to get Drake closed by summer. Keep in mind, many local and state government institutions may go into recess in response to Covid-19, so check with Beyond Coal for any delays in lobbying preparation. The link to the online survey will not be public until April 1, but after that day, you can visit csu.org and look for “Survey.”

From Lindsay Facknitz:
We need you to become a grassroots organizer, particularly with the LAST ONLINE SURVEY that will be up on April 1st. This survey matters. It’s the LAST survey, the LAST time we can easily tell all the decision makers that getting off fossil fuels is important to us. Our goal is to get 2,000 people to fill it out. How do you help? Easy!

Make a phone chain! 
1) Make a list of 10 people right now that you know and tell them about the survey (you can keep it as simple as "Care about climate change? Help me make a big local difference! Colorado Springs Utilities is deciding how quickly to switch to renewables and they want our input. We can greatly reduce our community carbon footprint if we fill out this survey! Help me!") Call them right now and ask them to make a list of 10 friends they can call. And so on and so forth. 
2) Make a reminder in your calendar on April 2nd "CALL My People!" 
I'll be attending the UPAC meeting on April 1st, getting all the latest info and 'inside scoop' on the survey. And then I'm going to email all of you no later than April 2nd with survey details. From what I know about the survey right now, it does NOT include specific closing dates for Drake or other specific numbers. It will reiterate what factors are most important to you when choosing a portfolio. 
It doesn't matter how old you are, doesn't matter if you are college student, doesn't matter if you live at the same address as your parents and they filled out the survey too. If you are a customer of CSU (and all of you are), then you can fill out this survey. 
Social media is nice to spread the word too, but I personally think calling people actually 1)gets them to fill out the survey and 2) gets people excited to help spread the word. I personally am going to call everyone in my phone who are CSU customers... with a glass of wine in my hand. 

We need people to make public statements!
In April, May, and June, we need people to come and make public statements to UPAC and city council at their public meetings. These meetings are during the day and really are more effective than any e-mail we can send to CSU, UPAC, or the board. If you have some flexibility in your schedule, please consider coming and making a public statement.
 

 


 

PPJPC Offers Sound System for Community Group Rental

PPJPC has partnered with Studio 809 to purchase a portable sound system appropriate for indoor or outdoor use. If you are interested in arranging the use of this sound system, contact Victoria at (719) 632-6189.

Blanket Donations Still Needed at Springs Rescue Mission, Salvation Army Shelter

 

The appeal for blankets for homeless people continues on.  Our two local shelters say the need is still there. Gently used blankets, comforters, quilts, or throws – along with towels- can be dropped off as follows.  The Salvation Army accepts donations Mon- Fri, 9 am thru noon at their R. J. Montgomery Center, 709 S. Sierra, near Cimarron.  The Rescue Mission donation warehouse, west of their main campus, is located at 111 W. Las Vegas St. with drop off times Mon- Fri 9:30am-4:30pm and Sat 9-11am. 
If you have a heart to help a homeless person, please consider donating new or used items.
 
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